Twitter valued at $31 billion after first day on stock market

Josh Peterson | Tech Editor

Popular microblogging platform Twitter ended its first day on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday energized by optimistic investors looking to get in on a piece of the action.

Twitter’s 70 million shares were priced at $26 late Wednesday, but opened at $45.10.

The stock closed the market nearly 18 points up from its at $44.90 per share — a 72.9 percent gain, giving the company a $31 billion valuation after its first day as a publicly traded company.

USA Today notes, however, that Twitter’s successful debut on the stock market pales in comparison to the record-setting initial public offering of VA Linux Systems, now called Geeknet, Inc., on Dec. 9, 1999.

Sun Sentinel reported that VA Linux Systems’ stock jumped 897 percent from its $30 per share opening price to $299 in early trading. It closed the day at $239.25 — a 697 percent increase.

The most relevant comparisons, however, were to Facebook’s May 2012 IPO on the NASDAQ. A programming glitch turned Facebook’s IPO into a debacle for the company and its eager investors, delaying trading of the stock and confusing traders.

Facebook closed its first day at $38.23 per share, $0.23 above the company’s IPO price.

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